A Pennsylvania woman who helped rescue lab monkeys who escaped in a truck accident must deny the conspiracy theories that she died of Monkeypox.
Michele Fallon, 45, witnessed the Jan. 21 crash between a dump truck and a vehicle carrying 100 lab testing monkeys near her hometown of Danville, trying to help some of the fleeing animals.
Conspiracy peddlers on Reddit and Telegram grabbed her story after she developed mild cold and pink eye symptoms, possibly from exposure to a virus the monkeys were carrying.
Initially, they claimed the truck accident was part of a plot to spread a new bioweapon across the United States.
When the first cases of Monkeypox in the United States were reported in May, the conspirators linked the outbreak to the truck accident, claiming that Ms. Fallon had died.
“Holy s***….they covered up Michele Lee Fallon’s death. She was the one exposed to Monkeypox,” one Reddit user wrote on the Conspiracy subreddit in May.
Another accused her of being a crisis actor and claimed that an image on her Facebook page was an “infamous symbol of the Cabal”.
Last week, Ms. Fallon took to social media to try and contain the rumours.
So people say I’m dead from monkey pox. I live and do well.
— Michele Fallon (@MicheleFallon7) June 3, 2022
“So people say I’m dead from monkey pox. I’m alive and doing well,” she tweeted.
Mrs. Fallon said: The everyday beast in an interview that it was bizarre to watch the conspiracy evolve from accusing her of making up her encounter with the monkeys, to claiming she had died.
“One minute you’re saying I’m fake, now you’re saying I’m real,” she said.
The everyday beast reported that rumors of her death had gained traction when someone found an obituary for a West Virginia woman named Michele Lee Fallon Riffle.
This was widely shared among the conspiracy community as evidence of her demise.
The news site tracked down Mrs. Fallon Riffle’s son who explained that his mother had died of a heart attack.
“I can assure you that my mother is not the same woman from Pennsylvania,” Jesse Riffle . told me the everyday beast, and begged those who spread the false theories to leave his mother out of it.
Ms Fallon said she and her family suffered for months from abuse and intimidation by the conspirators.
She had tried to confront those spreading the rumors online and ask them to correct false statements about her, but to no avail.
Now she’s just trying to ignore the sound.
Ms. Fallon said that even after her experience with bruising, she would still stop to help animals if she encountered them in a traffic accident. Even if they were monkeys.
The monkeys involved in the crash were part of a shipment of 100 cynomolgus macaques shipped from Mauritius to a quarantine facility in Florida.
Three escaped animals were captured shortly afterwards and later euthanized.
At least 45 cases of Monkeypox have been detected in 15 US states, but the Biden administration insists the risk to the public remains low.